Someone once told us, “They hired a housepainter, don’t be an architect.” Don’t make the task more complicated than it is. You can’t sell someone something people don’t want or don’t understand. Meet the task brilliantly. But never turn the task into something it isn’t.
July 2010 - PS Insights
Web Democracy: “Welcome To My Garage!” Great ideas come from anyplace. Where’s the next YouTube, Facebook or Twitter? Be on the lookout. If you’re going to be an old dog and not learn new tricks, then time and the marketplace will pass you by. You can put up walls and say, “I don’t want to be bothered,” or you can lower a drawbridge over your moat and invite people in. Have a “market day.” Pick one day a week when you and your team share and jam on totally new ideas and new media. You never know what will walk in. Be ready to be surprised. Be ready to adopt and adapt those wonderful surprises to your original efforts.
Time of day, different situations, different connections. Speak to your customers at their convenience, not yours. Different dayparts and different consumer experiences call for different interfaces, intercepts and engagements. Make sure you’re reaching your customers at the right time and right place with the right message. Show them you get it, and care about them. In turn, they’ll show you they care about you.
Be totally unexpected and delightful. Zig where others expect you to zag. Do the opposite of the usual – call it the un-usual and make it stand out from the crowd. Intercept your customers in their lives in ways that will make them smile, appreciate the gesture and cherish your brand.
Don’t fall in love with execution that has no motivation. It’s easy to get into the habit of doing things a certain way simply because you’ve always done it that way. Or you let your design team talk you into an expensive design treatment that won’t do anything to build brand awareness or enhance the product experience. It’s “design for design’s sake” and there’s a place for that – but only if it’s part of your overall brand strategy. Otherwise, don’t get sucked in. Beware the bright, shiny objects.
Mind your own business by minding someone else’s business. Fall in love with what other companies do well – then do it great, your way. Just because they’re bigger than you doesn’t mean they’re smarter. In fact, they’ve done a lot of your thinking for you. Take a look at their “best practices” and start making them your own.
Just because you come across the latest social or digital medium doesn’t mean you should do it. Be cautious as well as current. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. A lot of digital and social media isn’t right for many companies or brands. Your skill (and job) as a marketer is to make the determination as to which media vehicles are worth your time and effort and which will best engage your customers through those platforms. Don’t get on the bandwagon just because a medium is the latest fad. Get on your “brand wagon” and draw customers to you.
Have you tried a 30-minute infomercial lately? It’s a great medium for the right product or service. You’re not the only one watching at 2 AM. Remember those billboards you’ve seen on the highway. The ones without an ad and the owner of the billboard puts up a sign saying “You’re not the only person reading this,” or “See, billboards work” or some other similar message? A 30 minute infomercial is a great exercise for demonstrating your product or service. Even if you intuitively believe your company wouldn’t be able or want to do and infomercial, you should script one anyway – it will lead you to the core selling message that can enhance all your marketing efforts. What’s the message? What’s the best way to say it? What’s the ideal way to say the message over and over again?
Try managing by Post-It Notes. Keep the message short, simple and focused.
Read the blogs that talk about your company. Got friends? Encourage them. Got enemies? Politely engage them. Don’t argue with them, just start by agreeing with them — join the resistance — and then go on to state your case. You’ll start to win over the “opposed” and sway the “undecideds.” Never threaten or bribe – you’ll just inflame your critics and give them more fuel to hate you.